Solar energy is rapidly gaining notoriety as an important means of expanding renewable energy resources. As such, it is vital that those in engineering fields understand the technologies associated with this area. Its energy is both clean and free of cost. So maximizing the use of solar energy help to take the load off from fossil fuels like petrol, diesel, etc. and limit the emission of carbon dioxide hence preventing the pollution. Our project will include the design and construction of an Arduino-based solar panel tracking system to control the auto intensity of the street lights systems. Solar tracking allows more energy to be produced because the solar array is able to remain aligned to the sun and therefore it will provide the maximum output power used in lightning the street lights at night. The project is also designed to detect vehicle movement on highwaysto switch ON only a block of street lights ahead of it (vehicle), And toswitch OFF the trailing lights to save energy. During night all the lights on the highway remain ON for the vehicles, but lots of energy is wasted when there is no vehicle movement. This proposed system provides a solution for energy saving. This is achieved by sensing an approaching vehicle and then switches ON a block of street lights ahead of the vehicle. As the vehicle passes by, the trailing lights switch OFF automatically. Thus, wesave a lotof energy. So when there are no vehicles on the highway, then all the lights remain OFF.
There are two types of sun trackers single-axis and dual-axis.
Single axis tracker:
It moves back and forth in east-west direction. Because of axial tilt of the Earth, the inclination of Sun’s trajectory in the sky varies over the course of the year. Single axis tracker cannot follow Sun’s trajectory.
Dual axis tracker:
It can track sun in continuous manner as it can move in two different west and north-south) directions i.e. it follows Sun’s exact trajectory. Using solar trackers increases the amount of solar energy which is received by the solar energy collector and improves the energy output of the heat/electricity which is generated. Solar trackers can increase the output of solar panels by 20-30% which improves the economics of the solar panel project.
Digital Systems Component: Breadboard
The Arduino microcontroller, photoresistors, servo motors and LCD display will all be connected to the breadboard as shown on Figure
Power will be calculated by measuring current and voltage across the photoresistors. The resistance of a photoresistor decreases with light intensity. This enables the device to determine where to move based on which photoresistor detects the most light. Data from the photoresistors will be processed on the Arduino microcontroller, which uses an algorithm to determine the direction of the brightest light source. The microcontroller will then signal the servo motors to move and display the angle values on the LCD screen.
The sun tracking solar project contains many mechanical components. These components include the frame and the motors. Frame The frame, which is shown on Figure, can be divided into two components. The first component consists of the frame that holds the solar panel and contains the two servo motors which move horizontal &the vertical which moves the panel. The panel rotates the panel in the y-axial direction.